Making a Fossil Necklace

Last week at one of my favorite Lake Erie beaches, I found this really interesting little dark grey beach stone. It must be a fossil of some sort. Look closely and you can see a tiny texture all over it.

I have done some research and this appears to be a "favosite" fossil. Favosite is an older cousin to the Petoskey Stone found only in Northern Michigan. It is a long extinct coral composed of polygonal to slightly rounded shaped tiny marine animals. When our area was closer to the equator, they grew in the shallow tropical waters some 400-385 million years ago. (The Lower Devonian geologic period, for you geology buffs.) The closely adjoined colonies give the formation a honeycomb-like appearance and are somewhat rare. Might also be called a Charlevoix Stone. So I decided it needed to be the focus of a new necklace. My studio is kind of dark, so I have difficulty photographing my process, but I thought I'd try to show you a few steps along the way as I made this piece today.
First I built a bezel using sterling bezel wire and sterling sheet. The stone fits!
I made a jump ring out of heavy gauge wire and soldered it closed. Constructed a bail out of more of the same wire.
I soldered the bail to the top of the bezel. (Sorry so blurry....too absorbed in my work to dig out the tripod!)
Filed, sanded, buffed to a satin finish. Almost ready for the stone!

Once the stone is in place, I used a burnisher to push the bezel against the stone for a firm grip.
I cut a length of sturdy oxidized silver chain and added my handmade hook clasp and ring.
Soldered, buffed...


To see this necklace on Etsy click here.


Karin Bartimole said...

Fun to see your process unfold Susan, and what a great find for a focus! It's wild, because it really looks like a kind of fossilized coral. Gorgeous as always!

SToNZ said...

Turns out is IS fossilized coral, Karin! Thanks for the nice comment...

Fionnghuala Doran said...

Beautiful! such a great choice of chain too!

SToNZ said...

Thanks so much!

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